Yesterdays

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Keith Jarrett; Gary Peacock; Jack DeJohnette
LABELS: ECM
PERFORMER: Keith Jarrett (piano), Gary Peacock (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: 177 4447 Reissue (1983-2001)

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Keith Jarrett cut his teeth with Art Blakey’s Messengers but made his name with Charles Lloyd’s Quartet, alongside DeJohnette. Now it seems puzzling that that quartet so upset purists, who should have concentrated more on the music than the beads and kaftans.

Even the elements Keith Jarrett imported from experimental ‘serious’ music were merely shading. Nonetheless, he continued to divide opinion: I step over the fence and back myself.

Much of his widely praised solo work feels self-indulgent and self-congratulatory, albeit technically brilliant, and when I first saw the Standards Trio live 20-odd years back I formed the same opinion about its work, although I’ve enjoyed many of the recordings.

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So, my recommendation of this CD of fine concert-hall performances is not the verdict of an uncritical fan. Captured in typically sumptuous ECM-sound, these distinguished players tackle a well-selected programme of jazz and popular standards with spirit, imagination, and even a welcome sense of fun. Barry Witherden